Anti-mandate protester charged with inciting violence

Source: 1News

An anti-mandate protester, attending the Parliament protest, has been arrested and charged with inciting violence as police continue to urge people to stay away.

Man arrested by police at Parliament protest on Saturday, Feb 26.

The 35-year-old was arrested on Saturday night.

He is due to appear in the Wellington District Court next week.

It comes amid what police say is aggressive behaviour from anti-mandate protesters directed at them.

“Aggressive behaviour from protesters, extremely poor sanitary conditions, the confirmed presence of Covid-19, and the number of unwell people amongst the group all make for an unsafe, and unpleasant environment for anyone thinking of joining the activity,” a police spokesperson said in a statement.

“Increasingly, key protest group leaders are unable to control or influence the disparate groups within the protest.”

Police reiterated their calls for people, particularly families and children, to stay away from the protests.

"Police maintain that the protest site is not a suitable environment for families and children," the spokesperson said.

"We are urging people intent on attending the protest today or the coming week, to stay away, this is not a safe place.

"We do not want more people joining this environment and putting their health and safety at risk."

Police will continue to have a highly visible presence in and around Parliament grounds.

There are an estimated 300 vehicles inside the cordoned area as of Sunday morning, the spokesperson said.